There’s a good chance that you’re reading this article on a phone or a tablet that was made in China. In fact, you’re probably surrounded by electronics that were sourced, developed, and assembled by Chinese workers in Chinese factories. In the last decade, China has proven that it can produce high quality products. That iPhone or iPad you’re swiping through this very article on? Yep. It was made in China by Chinese manufacturers in Chinese factories – and here’s the thing. You didn’t question the build quality, the materials or anything about it.You just picked it up and used it, because it had the trusted Apple logo on it. You knew that Apple demanded quality parts and materials. You knew that Apple demanded quality standards of production and craftsmanship, and you knew that Apple demanded a quality assurance and testing program that ensures that their partners in China produce a high quality product. And that begs the question: Why don’t we treat a knife that was made in China the same way we treat our everyday electronics?
Understand. Knife Newsroom is an American magazine written by Americans. We eat apple pie, watch baseball, and pledge allegiance – and we like American made goods as much as the next guy, but we’re also here to ask some hard questions. Why do we treat our electronics differently than our knives? Why does there seem to still be a stigma with knives created overseas?
The Rough Rider brand has been manufactured almost exclusively in China for over a decade. In my opinion, they make some of the highest quality, best looking everyday carry pocketknives on the market. If I close my eyes and hold a Case trapper in one hand and Rough Rider trapper in the other, for the life of me I can’t feel the difference in them at all. They weigh the same. They have the same craftsmanship. When I test them head to head, they both look great and cut great, and they both have a crisp walk and talk – Rough Rider has now even added crisp half stops. I can tell virtually no difference between them, except in price. The China-made Rough Rider generally costs close to four times less than the Case knife.
Is it time to shed that double standard – the one we have for Chinese-made electronics vs. Chinese-made knives? Maybe so. We are now seeing extraordinary quality, materials, and craftsmanship from Chinese factories for major brands like CRKT and Kershaw, just to name two. And beyond that, we’re seeing brands like Kizer and Reate come into the market with incredible offerings in modern folding knives (high-end steel in the blades and high-end handle materials).
We’d love to hear what you think? Is it time to end the double standard?